Syn.: Hyssopus angustifolius M. Bieb., Hyssopus borealis Domin, Hyssopus decumbens Jord. et Fourr., Hyssopus officinalis var. borealis (Domin) Dostál, Thymus hyssopus E. H. L. Krause
Family: Lamiaceae Martinov

Hyssopus officinalis

Distribution: Native in the Mediterranean region, eastward extends to the Caucasus and western Asia. Naturalized in warmer areas of western and central Europe (during the Middle Ages it was cultivated in monasteries), was introduced into North America, and it is also cultivated in China, India etc. It is a polymorphic species, in which variants have been named at the specific, subspecific and varietal level.

Ecology: It grows in sunny and dry rocky slopes, especially on limestone, but also on human-altered habitats, from lowlands to foothills. It flowers from June to August.

Hyssopus officinalis

Description: Aromatic semi-shrub, 20–60 cm tall, branches numerous, erect, rarely decumbent. Leaves sessile, 10–30(–50) × 2–10 mm, linear, lanceolate or oblong, entire, obtuse to acuminate, glabrous to villous. Verticillasters 3- to 7-flowered in terminal, spike-like inflorescences, bracts linear, acuminate, calyx tubular, glabrous or puberulent, the tube 3–5 mm, teeth 1–3 mm, corolla 7–12 mm long, blue or violet, rarely white, 2-lipped, upper lip erect, emarginate, lower lip patent, 3-lobed. The fruit are nutlets.

Use: The Hyssop is a medical plant, it is as well used as an ingredient in foods and its essential oil is used for flavoring liqueurs. It is also a popular ornamental plant.

Note: The genus contains about 15 species, distributed in Africa, Europe and Asia.

Hyssopus officinalisHyssopus officinalis
Hyssopus officinalis

These images were taken in culture (July 31, 2010).